Traditional Mesothelioma Treatment

Saturday, August 29, 2009

There are three types of malignant mesothelioma. The most common is pleural mesothelioma, then peritoneal mesothelioma and lastly pericardial mesothelioma. Pleural mesothelioma is found in the lining of the lungs. Peritoneal mesothelioma is found in the abdominal cavity and pericardial mesothelioma is found around the lining of the heart. The traditional treatments for malignant mesothelioma include:

Surgery (removing the mesothelioma).

Surgery could be diagnostic, palliative, or potentially curative. The method of surgery used most commonly in mesothelioma treatments are: * A pleurectomy/decortication is the removal of the pleura (lining of the lung) without removing the underlying lung. Instead of removing the lung, the tumor is instead stripped away from the lung, diaphragm and vessels. In cases of peritoneal mesothelioma, cytoreductive surgery (debulking) can be performed. The surgeon will look for signs of cancer in the abdominal cavity and removes as much of the tumor as necessary. This will help make it more likely that chemotherapy/radiation can kill the cancer cells that are left over. * An extrapleural pneumonectomy (which is a radical procedure) involves removing the lung, lung lining (pleura) and the pericardium which surrounds the heart, along with part of the diaphragm. Surgery is typically perceived as the first option for eligible mesothelioma treatment patients and all evaluations should come from a physician which specializes in these surgical techniques.

Mesothelioma Chemotherapy (using drugs to fight the mesothelioma).

Mesothelioma Chemotherapy is actual "chemical therapy" where chemicals are injected into the area in order to destroy the cancer cells. Anticancer drugs help to prevent cancer cells from multiplying and spreading. A majority of patients receive some form of mesothelioma chemotherapy. Several different chemicals are used and some are used either alone or in combination with other drugs. Most drugs used for mesothelioma treatment are accopmlished by injection into a vein or muscle (some do come in pill form). In some cases, specialists can administer chemotherapy directly into the pleural or peritoneal cavity. In doing so, they hope to target the mesothelioma tumor more effectively. The most obvious reason for using of chemotherapy is to control the cancer and stopping it from spread or slowing it's growth include: * Neoadjuvant mesothelioma chemotherapy is used to shrink tumors prior to other treatments, such as surgery.
* Adjuvant mesothelioma chemotherapy is used to destroy microscopic disease which may remain after surgery. * Palliative mesothelioma chemotherapy is used to relieve symptoms, such as pain.

Chemotherapy drugs may have undesirable side effects. Doctors monitor the effects of these treatments. It is important to discuss with your doctor the chemotherapy options you are offered, including the expectations of success and possible side effects.

Radiation Therapy (high dose x-rays or other high-energy rays to eradocate the mesothelioma).

In many cases, two or more of these mesothelium treatments will be combined. Although these are clasified as "traditional" treatments, exciting treatment options are being developed currently.


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